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Other titles in the Library of World Biographies series:
Emperor Qianlong: Son of Heaven, Man of the Worldby Mark C. Elliott
Synopses & Reviews
This new entry in the Longman Library of World Biography series offers an intimate and provocative account of the Manchu emperor Qianlong (1711-1799), one of the world’s great empire-builders, who helped build the foundation of the modern Chinese nation.
During the 64 years of Qianlong’s rule, China’s population more than doubled, its territory increased by one-third, its cities flourished, and its manufactures – tea, silk, porcelain – were principal items of international commerce. Based on original Chinese and Manchu-language sources, and drawing on the latest scholarship, this is the biography of the man who, in presiding over imperial China’s last golden epoch, created the geographic and demographic framework of modern China.
This accessible account describes the personal struggles and public drama surrounding one of the major political figures of the early modern age, with special consideration given to the emperor’s efforts to rise above ethnic divisions and to encompass the political and religious traditions of Han Chinese, Mongols, Tibetans, Turks, and other peoples of his realm.
In addition to becoming familiar with one of the most remarkable figures in world history, readers will find that learning about Emperor Qianlong will add greatly to their appreciation of China’s place in the world of the eighteenth century and will deepen their understanding of China’s place in the world today.
Book News Annotation:
In China as in Europe, says Elliott (Chinese and Inner Asian history, Harvard U.) the 18th century was pivotal, there witnessing the doubling of population, a booming economy and inter-regional trade, improved standards of living, stimulated cultural production, diverse popular religions, the expansion of the empire to its greatest extend, and the first modern diplomatic ties with European states. This was overseen by the Ching dynasty of minority Manchu origin, and in particular Qianlong (1711-99), whose life and reign he describes. He covers an emperor in the making; Qianlong takes charge; family, ritual, and dynastic rule; the dilemma of Manchu success; the peripatetic sovereign; building the empire; renaissance man; Qing China and the world; and order and decline in the late Qianlong era. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Mark C. Elliott is the Mark Schwartz Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History in the Department of East Asian Langauges and Civilizations at Harvard University. Professor Elliott's interest in East Asia began at Yale, where he earned his BA (History, 1981) and MA (East Asian Studies, 1983). After several years of study and archival research in Taiwan, the PRC, and Japan, he earned his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1993, specializing in the history of the last imperial dynasty, the Qing. A leading figure in what is sometimes called the "New Qing History," he is among the very few historians in the United States trained in the use of Manchu-language sources, upon which his first book, The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnicity in Late Imperial China (Stanford, 2001) is largely based. He is currently at work on a new book examining the connections between the Manchu empire and modern China.
Table of Contents
List of Maps and Illustrations
Chapter 1. Emperor in the Making
Chapter 2. Qianlong Takes Charge
Chapter 3. Family, Ritual, and Dynastic Rule
Chapter 4. The Dilemma of Manchu Success
Chapter 5. The Peripatetic Sovereign
Chapter 6. Building the Empire
Chapter 7. Renaissance Man
Chapter 8. Qing China and the World
Chapter 9. Order and Decline in the Late Qianlong Era
Conclusion. Son of Heaven, Man of the World
Timeline of the Qianlong Era
Note on Sources
What Our Readers Are Saying
Biography » Historical